Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity homes are affordable, environmentally friendly, and healthy for occupants. In other words, they are sustainable. Habitat homes have been designed and built to ensure long-term benefits to the owner with regard to cost, comfort, environmental impact, and quality of life. Habitat also follows sustainable building practices, requiring efficient management of energy, waste, materials, and water in order to minimize environmental and production costs.
Designed and constructed to be energy efficient, Habitat homes lower operating costs over time. Habitat homes meet or exceed the highest Energy Star rating. Habitat uses Energy Star products in homes to significantly reduce energy costs, such as lighting, windows, on-demand water heaters, 90% efficient furnaces, and Energy Star-rated appliances.
Habitat homes are built using optimum value engineering (OVE) techniques to minimize non-renewable material use. Habitat also uses indigenous (native) species, and provides all organic lawns to conserve and keep water free of toxins. Utilizing energy efficient products also reduces fuel consumption and pollution. Habitat supports local businesses by buying goods locally (when possible) and further reducing fuel use.
The choice of materials used in Habitat homes is considered carefully to minimize off-gassing of toxins, improving indoor air quality. Habitat homes feature low-VOC paints, natural linoleum, and additional ventilation, to help keep the indoor environment clean. Habitat home design incorporates universal design principals, such as zero-step entries, and single-lever door handles and faucets, to make them easy to use for a wide variety of abilities and ages. The goal is to provide a beneficial living environment for a variety of needs, over the long-term, so that changing conditions will not force families from their homes.